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Integration of Medicine and Robotics – an online teacher professional development program for STEM education

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

K-12 Professional Development II

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.787.1 - 23.787.9



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Paper Authors


Ronald H Rockland New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Dr. Ronald H. Rockland received his B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. and Ph.D. in Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering from New York University, and received an M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of St. Thomas. After almost 25 years of industrial experience in research, engineering, marketing and sales management and general management with several high technology corporations, he joined New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in 1995 as an assistant professor. He is currently the chair and professor of the Department of Engineering Technology, with a joint appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Previous to that he served as associate dean of Undergraduate Studies for the Newark College of Engineering of NJIT.
His research in industry was in the area of pacemakers and defibrillation, and his research at Medtronic Inc led to five patents. He was a principal investigator for a three year, $1 million NSF grant entitled Medibotics: The merging of medicine, robotics and IT, and was a co-principal investigator for a $2.5 million grant on pre-engineering workforce enhancement from the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, as well as a principal investigator for a Whitaker Foundation grant. His current research is in biological signal processing, related to cardiovascular signals, and in enhancing STEM education through use of engineering principles. He has written over 50 articles in both journals and conference proceedings, in both the educational and biomedical fields.
Dr. Rockland was the recipient in 2004 of the F.J. Berger award, a national engineering technology award presented by ASEE, and a 2000 award winner in Excellence in Teaching for NJIT, was named a Master Teacher in 2004, and was the chair of the Master Teacher’s Committee. He is also very active in the Engineering Technology community, have served in numerous capacities for the Engineering Technology Division (ETD) of the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE), most recently as the chair for ETD, as well as serving as a commissioner on the Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) for ABET. He was selected in 2011 as a Fellow of the American Society of Engineering Educators.

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Levelle Burr-Alexander New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Levelle Burr-Alexander is the associate director (K-20 Partnerships) at New Jersey’s Institute of Technology’s Center for Pre-College Programs. She has a B.S. with thesis in chemistry from Stevens Institute of Technology, M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from NJIT, and is currently a candidate for Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Instructional and Curriculum Leadership from Northcentral University. Burr-Alexander has nearly three decades of experience in management, curriculum development, and implementation of projects for educators, students, and their parents in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM) education.

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Howard S. Kimmel New Jersey Institute of Technology


John D. Carpinelli New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Dr. John D. Carpinelli is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and executive director of the Center for Pre-college programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He has served as coordinator of activities at NJIT for the Gateway Engineering Education Coalition and as a member of the Coalition’s Governing Board. He previously chaired NJIT’s Excellence in Teaching Awards Committee and is past chair of the University Master Teacher Committee.

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Linda S Hirsch New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Thomas Michael Tylutki New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Integration of Medicine and Robotics – an online teacher professional development programfor STEM education(for professional (in-service) development category)The goal of this project is to create and implement a web-based professional developmentprogram that teachers can access and, as a result of the training, are able to implement, in theirclassroom. The original program, developed through a previously funded NSF project over athree-year period starting in 2007, is a novel teaching approach which applies robotics andinformation technology to solve biomedical problems. The program was designed to enhancestudent knowledge in biology, medicine, physics, mathematics, engineering, and informationtechnology, and become part of a standard STEM course curriculum.As a result of the original program, face to face workshops for sixty in-state middle and highschool teachers were held, and it is estimated that over 3,000 students have been exposed tothe concepts of robotic surgery, the engineering design process, and enhanced learningthrough use of the original program. In addition, six teachers have developed courses withintheir schools based on the original program, and another teacher developed and taught asummer enrichment program for 8th grade students with the focus on the integration ofmedicine and robotics to enhance STEM education.To broaden the distribution of this original program, an effort was started in 2010 to create aweb-based version of the original professional development program. The utilization of a web-based approach to distance learning, allows the use of both asynchronous and synchronousdelivery options that can accommodate the range of activities to be undertaken: readings,teacher contributions to discussion, as well as completion of assignments by teachers.Discussion forums allow teachers to share content, ideas, instructional strategies, andalternative perspectives.There are two primary online resources for this program. The first is a general web site that isavailable to the general public. This public website has been created. The second onlineresource is the online learning community that will be used by participating teachers. Thisresource uses Moodle as its delivery system and is only accessible to participating teachers andprogram personnel. Moodle is an open-source course or learning management system (CMS orLMS) that is used throughout our university, as well as at many other universities. The materialused for training consists of over 30 videos that focus on learning objects within the program,with assessments for both the learning outcome from the video, as well as an assessment onthe video. This program will culminate with a capstone project, where the group of teacherswill develop their own surgery.The online program consists of two teacher cohort training, with modification of the secondcohort material based on the assessment and feedback from the first cohort teachers. Thispaper describes the process, as well as the assessments from the first cohort.

Rockland, R. H., & Burr-Alexander, L., & Kimmel, H. S., & Carpinelli, J. D., & Hirsch, L. S., & Tylutki, T. M. (2013, June), Integration of Medicine and Robotics – an online teacher professional development program for STEM education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19801

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